Current or recent Broadway hits, including The Book of Mormon, dominate the 2014-15 Kansas City Broadway Series.
By ROBERT TRUSSELL
The Kansas City Star
Broadway Across America and Theater League present the series. The BAA shows play the Music Hall, and Theater League books smaller-scale touring shows into the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
Heres the breakdown:
• Motown the Musical, Dec. 9-14 at the Music Hall. This show found a wide audience in New York, thanks to choice picks from the voluminous Motown catalog. Its basically the Berry Gordy story as told by Berry Gordy, who founded the label and turned it into a little empire.
In most respects the show plays like a conventional bio-musical with intriguing behind-the-scenes tidbits about Motowns rise to major-label status.
• Chicago, the perennially popular Kander-and-Ebb musical, returns to the Kauffman Center on Jan. 20-25, 2015. This tour is modeled on the revival that opened in 1996 and is still on Broadway. The revival, in turn, was modeled on the 1975 Bob Fosse original.
Set in the 1920s, the show is a sexy, cynical commentary on celebrity lawyers and killers who parlay their crimes into stardom.
• The Book of Mormon, Feb. 24-March 8, 2015, at the Music Hall. This runaway hit and winner of nine Tonys continues its sold-out run on Broadway. This is the work of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and composer/lyricist Robert Lopez, who helped write Avenue Q.
The tale of a couple of Mormon missionaries sent to Uganda is farcical, irreverent, crude, politically incorrect and very funny.
• Once, March 24-29, 2015, at the Kauffman Center. This winner of eight Tony Awards could be considered the first acoustic-folk-rock musical to become a hit on Broadway.
The show, which is still running in New York, is based on the 2006 independent film set in Dublin about a street busker and a young immigrant who meet, fall in love, make beautiful music together and then part. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, who wrote the songs for the movie, wrote additional tunes for the show.
• Peter and the Starcatcher, May 26-31, 2015, at the Kauffman Center. This musical, written by Rick Elice and composer Wayne Barker, is a prequel to Peter Pan. Based on a novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, the show employs a company of 12 actors to play more than 100 characters.
• Two engagements not included in the season ticket package are the never-ending tour of Mamma Mia! (Oct. 7-12 at the Music Hall) and The Price is Right Live! (Nov. 15 only).